Ruined Remains: A World Tour Of Abandoned Places Courtesy Of Adventurous Urban Explorers

By Stuart W January 13, 2024

This article was originally published on bettermanly

Urban exploration is a popular and exciting pastime that is enjoyed by people of all ages across the world. There is something exhilarating in visiting destinations that once held life, sometimes with a steady flow of hundreds of visitors, but now stand empty, abandoned, and ruined over the course of time. Not everyone has access to such wondrous places, nor the bravery to explore them, which is why we’re grateful that Urban Explorers, or Urbexers, take pictures. These adventurous souls go where few dare to and bright back a glimpse of what really happens when structures are left to time and nature.

So here we go; grab your flashlight and get ready to explore the most breathtaking forgotten places shared on the urban explorers Twitter page. Just make sure, if you plan to visit any of these unique places, be careful. And don’t forget your camera!

All images in this article are courtesy of Urbanexplorerrs on Twitter.

Abandoned Tunnel in France

Nature has a habit of reclaiming those places that humans have abandoned. This site is a prime example of the fate of frequently used infrastrutre, if left empty. This abandoned railway tunnel in France that’s slowly returning to its natural state. Nature always finds a way in the end.

The tunnel almost looks like a natural cave that you might stumble upon in a forest. We can’t help but wonder what animals would have set up home inside it. We just love how nature is able to thrive in most environments.

An Abandoned Fishing Village, China

Something tells us we’re going to see a lot of pictures that demonstrate the sheer power and will of mother nature. With the exception of one home, the whole place appears overgrown with lush green vegetation. There’s something quite magical about this scene.

Image source: kayip_tarihin_izinde/Instagram

We think it’s especially cool that you are still able to make out the manmade angles and structures of the buildings that fishermen once called home. That sort of hard juxtaposition between manmade and natural creations is really, really cool.

Dark hedges, Ireland

This creepy road is lined by sinister-looking trees that almost appear to have been fused together into a sort of tunnel. Just imagine your car breaking down on a dark night! This photograph really is atmospheric and captures the feel of the place.

There is a lot of folklore in Ireland based around witchcraft and banshees, and with places like this dotted about, we can see why. There seems to be a slight mist in the photo, which really adds to the creepiness.

Forgotten Treehouse, Redmond, Washington

Whoever made this treehouse certainly must have had a lot of fun designing it. It’s a lot more impressive than any treehouse we’ve encountered before, and we can only but imagine how much fun was had here. Check out the turret!

It clearly must have taken quite a lot of time and money, not to mention engineering skills, to get this built. It’s actually kind of a shame that it’s now fallen into disrepair. Having said that, it’s an Urbexers dream!

Victorian-Style Greenhouse, England

We can really imagine how grand and opulent this Victorian-style greenhouse would have been when it was first built. From the ironwork detailing that adorns its front, to the vast amount of glass; a structure like this would have been expensive to build.

Image source: Nicola Berlotti

Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your point of view—this building has obviously fallen into a severe state of disrepair. Ironically, the greenhouse is still home to a variety of plants. Overall, it’s the sort of abandoned building that is prime real estate for those wanting to explore.

SS City of Adelaide, Wrecked off the Coast of Magnetic Island

The SS City of Adelaide was first launched from Scotland in 1863 and had a long and distinguished career in the Australian passenger and cargo service. In 1912 she was gutted by a severe fire. Finally, in 1916 she ran aground off Magnetic Island.

Image source:

The remains of this once-prestigious ship are still visible today. Although nature has reclaimed a large part of the vessel—mainly her hull, which is now rotting in the seawater—you are still able to visit and explore the site of her final resting place.

Decaying Train on a Bridge

This is a sort of two-for-one photograph. Clearly the bridge itself is no longer in use, and old train tracks are always fascinating. But not only do we have the bridge to explore, but there is also an old train on top of it.

Trains are decommissioned and abandoned more often than we’d like to think. We’re not sure quite how safe it is to explore. It’s definitely one to take extra care with, but the components of the scene really do make for a stunning photograph.

Abandoned Gothic Church, Portugal

It’s obvious that this gothic-style church in Portugal has seen better days. That being said, this picture really manages to retain some of the splendor that would have once been writ large across its structure. That spire alone is magnificent.

Throughout history, churches have often been built as a sign of status and prosperity. The one in this picture was built in a classical gothic style and was clearly designed to impress. Knowing that it is abandoned and no longer in use gives it a haunting quality.

Abandoned Casino, Romania

This is a very atmospheric shot of an abandoned casino in Romania, and it conjures up wistful memories of days gone by. We bet this building would have been a real hotspot of glitz and glamor. And money, of course!

Image source: Sogodel Vlad/Shutterstock

There’s something very cold-looking about it; everything seems to be in shades of hard gray. Yet it’s somehow still easy to imagine this casino full of light and life. It just goes to show that the good times don’t last forever.

Hotel del Salto in Columbia. Once Abandoned, Now a Museum

This atmospheric, old mansion had fallen into a state of disrepair and was a prime spot for exploring until 2013, when it was turned into a museum. Being situated on a cliff’s edge only adds to its appeal, especially on a foggy morning.

We bet this would’ve been a fascinating place to visit during its period of isolation and desolation. Now, having been redeveloped, we think it would still be a pretty fine place to pay a visit to. It’s a great example of repurposing an abandoned place.

A Library in an Old Victorian Mansion

This is an Urban Explorer’s dream if we’ve ever seen one. This derelict library is situated in a grand, old— but tumbled down—Victorian mansion and still retains a lot of its stock of books. Libraries were common fixtures in these old homes.

The dust is thick in here, which implies that it hasn’t seen regular use for a while now. We can only imagine the decadence and lavish lifestyles that once resided in this grand old house. We bet there are some really interesting books in there.

Abandoned Castle in France

This is an amazing example of an abandoned building. This moated castle, complete with turrets and roof terraces, radiates a faded glory that is both emotive and poignant to see now it’s gone to seed. Imagine living there during its prime years.

The scale of the castle means it would be an exceptional place to explore. Who knows what sort of treasures and secrets are housed within the grand walls of this near-ruined building. When can we go?! It’s a truly stunning example of a ruin.

Abandoned Mansion, Ireland

This old stately home must have been left to rot and ruin for a considerable amount of time because we can’t imagine that it was originally so hemmed in by so many trees. This striking photograph is great because of the detail we can see.

We really like the trees and foliage that have appeared on the roof and grown through the windows. It really emphasizes just how far gone this building is. We don’t know how much it cost to build, but we suspect it would cost just as much to renovate.

Abandoned Villa in Italy

Just look at this magnificent ceiling in this abandoned villa in Italy. This derelict room was clearly in the home of someone with a substantial amount of money. Villas such as this one were built as a conspicuous display of wealth.

The other details that really take our breath away are the sideboards. We can’t see the full detail now, but we’re sure it was once beautiful and opulent. The wall-mounted candle holders are also quite special. We would love to explore here.

Abandoned Theater

Here we have another grand old place that has been ravaged by time and neglect. The seats and curtain, although faded, still retain a suggestion of the bright and luxurious furnishings of this place, and the ceiling still looks fantastic.

We’re looking from the perspective of the top tiers, so we can’t tell what condition the stage itself is in. Structurally, this place is probably quite unsound, but what a thrill it would be to explore an old building such as this one!

Autopsy Room of an Old Hospital

This one is not for the faint of heart! Who knows how many bodies have been poked and prodded whilst lying on the slab. It just goes to show that even the shiniest, most technologically advanced places eventually have their day.

We’re not sure quite how comfortable we would be exploring in this place, and it would definitely be somewhere to treat with a great deal of respect. It gives a fascinating insight into a room that very few would have seen.

Abandoned Cruise Ship

This old wreckage is starting to rust and fall apart, which only serves to make the water appear an even more striking shade of blue. That juxtaposition really adds to the image, and we would love to visit someday, preferably seeing it from above like this Urbexer had.

Whilst the angle of the old cruise ship looks to be quite steep we bet that this place would be fantastic to explore. You would just have to make sure you were able to keep your balance when exploring, lest you become part of The Poseidon Adventure.

150-Year-Old Corner Piano

When exploring old places, we expect to see decaying ancestors of tools we still use today. This Urbexer was likely surprised to come across a strange corner piano. They were quite often constructed by jamming together two separate pianos at a right angle.

We’re not sure how practical it would be to play, but it’s quite the talking point, and we can imagine having it only as a conversation starter. Its so rare that we imagine most people who come across it would be tempted to give it a try.

Bethlehem Steelworks, New York

We are getting serious steampunk vibes from this old factory. Bethlehem Steel played a huge part in the construction of New York City. As we have seen so many times before, though, technology is constantly evolving, leaving the older pieces to the sands of time.

Image source:

This would be a fascinating place to explore. It looks like the sort of place where safety concerns would be paramount, though. Urbexing is an activity that is fraught with danger, and so it’s necessary to care for and respect your environment at all times.

Traffic Jam in a Belgian Forest

Nobody likes a traffic jam, but this is ridiculous! This line of rusted old abandoned cars seems to stretch out as far as the eye can see. We’re not sure what’s happened here, but it’s a very cool picture, to say the least.

Image source: Nicola Berlotti

Nature is gradually taking over the wrecks and claiming them back. Cars are one of the most mass-produced things in the world, but even the most well-cared-for automobiles end up in the scrap yard. We hope that there were at least some parts salvaged before the trees took over.

Abandoned Plane in Poland

How’s this for an atmospheric shot?! This old twin-engine plane is perched right on the edge of the clifftop and looks like it’s about to take off. In reality, we don’t think this airplane has flown for quite some time.

It’s obviously very high up, and it looks to be almost keeping watch over the misty gray vista below it. It’s a very cool photo, and one which makes us want to go exploring. This is definitely not one for those who are scared of heights, though.

Old Coal Mine in Manchester

Manchester, in the north of England used to be a major industrial hub and was the location of many coal mines. Over time, these mines became depleted and were eventually closed down and abandoned. These places are great for exploring.

The way the spiral staircase descends down through the mist is especially atmospheric, and we bet that the person who took this photo got a big shot of adrenaline on their adventure. Who knows what sorts of strange monsters reside down there.

Abandoned Orient Express Carriage From the 1930s

The Orient Express is renowned for being one of the most luxurious ways to travel in the whole world. This stunning photograph sure does conjure up what it must have been like to travel in the golden age of glamor.

But time is constantly marching forward, and it waits for no man… or train. As technology and luxury advanced, older models, such as this one from the 1930s, became obsolete and were superseded by even more luxurious ones that featured upgrades in every aspect.

A Door Leading to the Past

This ruined building is now little more than a wooden door and crumbling remnants of the wall that housed it. The view looks spectacular and really gives the impression of stepping back into a time gone by. Astonishingly, the door itself looks to be in remarkable condition.

Image source: ManiaforBeatles/Reddit

We are particularly taken with the doorstep, which has been worn down over the years by countless visitors. It’s hard to imagine that this ruin was once full of life and people, but as always, things like this are a testament to the past.

Abandoned Industrial Building With Rooftop Pool Added By Mother Nature

We know that nature is a powerful and almost unstoppable force. This old industrial building has long since been discarded by people, and as soon as mankind exits, nature enters. The trees and foliage have smashed right up against the building.

We especially like the way that the rain water has collected and converted the roof into a pool. While we don’t imagine it to be a very pleasant place to go for a swim, not unless you’re an adrenaline junkie, it certainly looks impressive.

Abandoned Library

This photograph looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The way the shelves are bowing under the weight of the books and time gives it a surreal quality that adds intrigue to the image. We would love to have a browse in this library.

We wonder how much humanity has learned since those books were printed. While some of the shelves have completely buckled over the years, some of them have just slumped and twisted. We imagine that the rest of the building is in a similar state of disrepair.

Abandoned Train in Siberia

Siberia is a massive place that is a treasure trove of abandoned things and places. This rusted-up old train looks like something that we would love to explore. It’s obviously been there for quite sometime. We wonder why it was left here.

Trains and railways have always held a special level of fascination for Urban Explorers, and this image really highlights why. Perhaps it’s something about the way the train disappears around the bend that really adds to the mystery and wonder.

Orpheum Auditorium, New Bedford, Mass.

There is something quite poignant about derelict theaters. What used to be a thriving and vibrant hub of culture and performance now lies abandoned and in ruins. It would give any potential Urbexer a fantastic opportunity for an exciting adventure.

Just look at the ornate ceiling. A lot of money must have been spent on this building, and we imagine that it hosted some fabulous performances over the years. It would be especially interesting to see what it looks like backstage.

Apparent Abandoned Cruise Ship Drydocked

This old ship now looks like a building. It has obviously been left here for quite sometime and has now been reclaimed by nature. Seeing objects out of context (especially something as large as a ship) always lends them a surreal quality.

This boat is at least four or five stories high, and we can only speculate as to what secrets are housed within its hull. Urbexing is an increasingly popular pastime, and with the world full of mysterious treasures like this, you can really see why. 

Abandoned Waterpark, Vietnam

We assume that this old waterpark, found in Vietnam, used to be a very fun and enjoyable place to visit. Those good-time vibes are long gone now, and this place looks quite sinister these days. The dragon, in particular, looks terrifying!

Image source: jacktthunter/Unsplash

The whole structure looks pretty unappealing, but we imagine that exploring this abandoned place would provide an urban explorer a perfect location to wander. We’re also getting distinct supervillain vibes, almost as if the door leads to a secret underground laboratory.

Abandoned Mill in Sorrento, Italy

You can tell by the sturdy brickwork and walls of this solid structure that it was built to last. Although it is now abandoned and derelict, it remains an imposing building, and we suspect it will be with us for quite some time to come.

Image source: Mentnafunangann/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

What looks to have been once a thriving hub of local industry now lies at the mercy of nature. Although, with such a sturdy structure, it is fair to say that places like this would be a wonder to explore.

Abandoned House in a Forest

We’re not sure quite where this old derelict home is situated, but we’re definitely picking up some “witchy” vibes from it. From the boarded-up windows to the way it appears to lean at a kilter, there is definitely something spooky about it.

Whoever lived there in times of greater prosperity must have had a great time. With the whole woodland as a garden, it was probably a dream to visit even in its prime. But, for whatever reason, it now lays dormant and perfect for exploring.

Abandoned Cathedral in the Northeast, USA

Cathedrals are always awe-inspiring places, and the fact that this one is apparently abandoned cannot diminish from the sense of wonder. The ceiling in this photograph is truly magnificent, and the craftsmanship is astonishing. We bet the acoustics are outstanding.

That vaulted ceiling really is fabulous, and we can just imagine the whole building full of the sounds of a choir in full voice. It must have been spine tingling-back in the day. Now, it’s still stunning, but also a little sad.

Abandoned Restaurant, Italy

This is an interesting photograph of an abandoned riverside restaurant somewhere in Italy. Imagine dining here during its prime years; it’d certainly be a romantic evening. Of course, the view is still stunning, but the interior is likely very different.

There’s a dock at the base of the building, so we can assume that some of the guests must have reached the destination by boat. Italy is famed for its rich culture of food and drink, and we would have loved to have visited here.

Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital, Italy

There’s something very sad about the way patients with mental disorders used to be treated. This is because very little was known about the various conditions until relatively recently. The empty cluster of wheelchairs are a very poignant reminder of years gone by.

The other detail that really stands out here is the large stained glass window in the background. The light casting through the panes adds an almost ethereal quality to the photograph. You can really imagine how life used to be here.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

The Land of Oz was a theme park based around the story of the Wizard of Oz. It was opened in 1970 in North Carolina, but unfortunately it only remained open and operational until 1980. Having been abandoned for decades, it’s now just ruins.

Image source:

It took about 44,000 yellow-painted bricks to construct the famous yellow brick road. You can still see the road today, and it really stands out against the dereliction of the rest of the park. The theme park is still a wonderful place to visit, albeit not for the reason it was intended for.

Old Abandoned Power Station

Some might describe this image as being pretty grim and oppressive, with concrete, concrete and more concrete. However, if you have the eye of an Urbexer you would see all sorts of excitement in this picture. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

Image source: lennartt/flickr

This example is located somewhere in Germany and is perhaps a relic from the Cold War years, though we can’t say for sure. It certainly looks like it’s been a while since it was operational. This must have been fun and quite thrilling to explore.

House Reclaimed by the Californian Desert

The desert can be a formidable adversary and a very volatile environment in which to build houses or any other type of structures. When the winds blow, large quantities of sand are carried and settle in new places. We hope that nobody was inside this building before it was buried!

Who knows why or even when this home became derelict. Though the satellite dishes on the roof imply it is a relatively new building, we very much doubt they get much on the TV these days. The power of the elements is not something to be taken lightly.

Abandoned Railway in a Forest

This railway track has seen better days! Once upon a time, it would have been perfectly level and flat and cut its way through this lush green forest. These days, after a long time of being exposed to the elements, it is now buckled and gnarled.

We’re not sure quite how long this has been desolate and disused, but it’s clearly been a long time. It would be a fascinating experience to walk the length of the tracks and to find out just where it leads.

Glass Mansion in Leesburg, Virginia

This must have been quite the statement home when it was first built. It still retains a certain faded opulence, but has clearly not been anyone’s home for a significant amount of time. Most of the walls are, or at least were, glass.

Of course, now, most of the glass has been broken and is now boarded up. It’s obviously in a remote location, and we imagine that it would take quite a hike to reach it. From the looks of it, we think it would be worth the effort, though.

Subway Station in Chongqing, China

We’re not sure quite how much of a commuter hub this old subway station used to be, but we’re pretty sure that not many passengers set out from here these days. The ground has sort of filled in around the old shell and gives the impression that is growing there.

Image source: CarlZha/Twitter

For whatever reason, this old station became abandoned, with now only critters passing through the gates. We find photographs such as this one as a fascinating example of an object frozen in time. These windows into times gone by are perfect for exploration and adventure.

Arcade Machine Warehouse

This is a great spot for anybody interested in retro games. This old arcade has obviously now been superseded by newer, flashier games and machines. If they worked, we’re sure that this vintage collection would be worth quite a lot of money!

These machines look like they haven’t been played for quite some time, but we imagine that in its heyday, this place would have been teeming with life and excitement. We bet the first Urbexers here checked all the machines for some spare change.

Tunnels Under New York

There’s a whole world underneath the streets of New York City. From the sewers and maintenance tunnels to the old abandoned subways, it’s almost like a city beneath the city. This vast tunnel seems to be a work in progress.

Image source: Patrick Cashin/MTA

There are actually whole communities who live in this subterranean world. Although we wouldn’t necessarily fancy spending our whole lives down there, an exploration of these tunnels and caverns would be a great experience. Who’s up for a trip to the depths of NYC?

Abandoned Restaurant in Petrópolis, Brazil (1960s and 2013)

This abandoned restaurant in Brazil would have been quite the futuristic venue when it opened in the 1960s. It’s like something out of a science fiction movie. Of course, a venue such as this would have attracted the wealthy and glamorous.

The top picture is quite the contrast with how the restaurant looks now. With its gutted interior and the lack of panes in the window, this once-glamorous and prestigious venue now looks a little forlorn. It’s certainly worth exploring, though.